WHO Calls For Urgent Funding For TB Fight #WorldTBDay

On March 24, as the world commemorates World Tuberculosis Day, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is caling for an urgent investment of resources, support, care and information into the fight against tuberculosis (TB).

Progress towards reaching the 2022 targets set in the UN High Level Meeting political declaration and the WHO Director-General's Flagship Initiative Find.Treat.All is at risk - mainly due to a lack of funding. Between 2018-2020, 20 million people were reached with TB treatment. This is 50% of the 5-year target of 40 million people reached with TB treatment for 2018-2022. During the same period, 8.7 million people were provided TB preventive treatment. This is 29% of the target of 30 million for 2018-2022.

The situation is even worse for children and adolescents with TB. In 2020, an estimated 63 % of children and young adolescents below 15 years with TB were not reached with or not officially reported to have accessed life-saving TB diagnosis and treatment services - the proportion was even higher - 72% - for children under 5 years. Almost two thirds of eligible children under 5 did not receive TB preventive treatment and therefore remain at risk of illness.

WHO's new guidelines are a game changer for children and adolescents with TB. The newest TB medicines to treat drug resistant TB - Bedaquiline and Delamanid - are now recommended for use in children of all ages, including  newborn babies. There is no longer a need for painful injections that can have serious side effects, including deafness.

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